Case Study: Seal Hunt and Norway

Michael Williamson (
Mon, 1 Jan 1996 10:45:56

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From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: Case Study: Seal Hunt and Norway
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From:	SMTP%"MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET" 29-DEC-1995 08:02:54.62
Subj:	Norway: 1996 seal hunt quota
Date:         Fri, 29 Dec 1995 14:56:47 PST
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
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From:         Georg Blichfeldt <>
Subject:      Norway: 1996 seal hunt quota
To:           Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
The Norwegian Fisheries Ministry announced 23. dec. the 1996
quotas for the hunt of harp and hooded seals. What's new is that the
temporary prohibition against catches of weaned pups, i.e. pups that
has been left by their mother, is to be lifted.
This prohibition has been in force since the 1991 season, and came
as responst to protests and boycot threats from abroad.  Before 1991
it was also allowed to take suckling harp seal pups (white coats).
This will still be forbidden. The detailed regulations for the harvest of
weaned seal pups is not in place yet, but according to sources in
Fisheries Ministry it is likely that both the use of the hakapik (a
spiked club) and rifles will be allowed to as killing equipment.
The Norwegian Fisheries Ministry press release gives following
background for the decision to reopen the harvest of weaned seal
pups: "This decision ensures that seals will be harvested in a way
that gives sealers a better economic basis for harvesting stocks
sustainably, i.e. in a way that meets the need for ecological sound
utilization in the context of  multi-species anagement. This
safeguards the future of a traditional means of livelihood and  makes
it possible to build on the considerable expertise available on
sealing"   .......... " It is biologically sound to split the harvest
between the productive and the non- productive parts of the
stock, and it has been estimated that  harvesting two pups have the
same longterm effect on the stock as harvesting an adult. Seal eat
fish, and scientist recommend that sealing including catches of
pups, should be carried in the context of a multi-species
management regime and as one element of a rational approach to
harvesting of marine resources in general."
According to the press release; -  "the norwegian quota in the West
Ice for 1996 has been set at 10.600 adult harp seals and 1.700 adult
hooded seals ......  Up to 50 percent of these quotas may be taken in
the form of weaned pups, on the basis of a conversion factor where
two pups are equivalent to one adult.. This is in accordance with the
recommendations of the International Council for the Exploration of
the Seas (ICES). Up to half the Norwegian quota of 9.500 adult harp
seals in the East Ice may also be taken as weaned pups, but
agreements with Russia mean that one pup is considered to be
equivalent to one adult in this area. Thus, the total Norwegian
harvest in 1996 may be up to 17.500 weaned pups and 10.900
adult seals". (end of quote)
The press release furthermore informs that the two research projects
that were the motivation for the 1995 scientific hunt of weaned pups
will continue in 1996, but now as a integrated part of the ordinary
sealing activities. These projects were research on humane killing
methods for weaned seal pups and a study of the nutrition, growth
and survival factors for seal pups.
Georg Blichfeldt (secretary)
High North Alliance,
N-8390 Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway
tlf: +47 76092414
fax: +47 76092450